Former US Senate candidate's father charged with illegal campaign contributions

Former US Senate candidate's father charged with illegal campaign contributions

The father of former U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-Ky.) was indicted on Friday on charges of making illegal contributions to his daughter's 2014 campaign and allegedly falsifying documents in order to impede a Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigation.

A statement from the Department of Justice released Friday said that Gerald Lundergan was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of making corporate campaign contributions, four counts of causing the submission of false statements to the FEC and four counts of falsifying documents with the intent to obstruct and impede the FEC.

Dale Emmons, a Democratic strategist, was also charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of making corporate campaign contributions, two counts of submitting false statements to the FEC and two counts of falsifying documents with the intent to obstruct and impede the agency.

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Lundergan, a former chairman of the state's Democratic Party, is accused by the Justice Department of using his company, S.R. Holding Company Inc., to "pay for services provided by consultants and vendors" for his daughter's Senate campaign.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, currently Kentucky's secretary of State, ran an unsuccessful race against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP making counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins MORE (R-Ky.) in 2014.

Questions were raised during Grimes's campaign over whether she had improperly benefited from her father's company. A Politico report found that Grimes rented a campaign bus from her father's company for a price well below market value.

The Lexington Herald-Leader also reported that a grand jury sought records pertaining to Grimes's campaign and Lundergan's businesses in February 2016.

The Herald-Leader reported Friday that Grimes paid $111,831 to Lexington, Kentucky, companies owned by Lundergan and $41,745 to Lundergan and other family members directly.

The Justice Department estimates that Lundergan, 71, contributed as much as $119,000 from his business to vendors who performed services for the campaign. In a statement, Grimes said the charges stemmed from a nearly half-decade-old FEC complaint that she said was "politically motivated."

"These allegations started as a result of a politically motivated complaint filed against my campaign nearly five years ago. That complaint was already investigated and completely dismissed by the bipartisan Federal Election Commission," Grimes said on Facebook.

"I love my father, and I have faith in the judgment and fairness of the people of Kentucky, and believe when all of the facts are in, my father will be vindicated," she added.